Tag Archive: Lake Chapala


China map

Itinerary: 21 Days in China

Thanks so much for your patience while I’ve taken a break from my  blog to complete work on my just-published books (more info on them below)!

I’ll resume posting on Sunday, July 26 with the first in a series from my recent 21-day trip to China.

The China trip begins with a long weekend in booming Shanghai, continues for 12 days along the Yangtze River and wraps up in  Xi’an (home of the ‘Terra Cotta Warriors‘), and Beijing.

21 Days In China is a chance to look beyond current headlines for firsthand insight into the culture, history, cuisine, and faces of today’s China!

 

+++++ JUST PUBLISHED ON AMAZON +++++

Two of my books previously first released only as digital editions are now available for the first time in paperback on Amazon!

 

Blue collar cover 02

LIFELINES: AN AMERICAN DREAM (2014).  My second book and first novel is the story of two families who abandon their pasts to pursue the American dream, and whose lives intersect in the melting pot of the industrial Midwest.

This is a collection of intimate snapshots that brings to life a history fast fading from collective memory. Rich in historical detail, it is set against the backdrop of America’s emergence as a world power in the twentieth century, and the rise and fall of organized labor.  Find it in Paperback or for Kindle and other e-readers here on Amazon.

 

 

Laguna Tales digital version 5x8 cover hi-res full size

LAGUNA TALES (2011).  My first book, a collection of short stories, draws on my own experiences to capture the lifestyle of the expat community in and around a mountain village in Mexico.

Six Americans from different walks of life arrive at personal crossroads that separately lead them to begin new lives along the shores of Mexico’s Lake Chapala.  Find it in Paperback or for Kindle and other e-readers here on Amazon.

 

 

ETF cover 06 DigitalEMBRACING THE FOG (2015).  I’ve partnered with three American writers from  the Lake Chapala area on  this new short story collection, which includes five of my previously-unpublished pieces.

These eighteen short stories are studies characters at life’s crossroads  in settings that span four continents and more than a century.  They run a gamut of styles from sobering to whimsical, and from stark realism to the fanciful.  Find it in Paperback or for Kindle and other e-readers here on Amazon.

 

 

Mexico Sunshine And Shadows 21MEXICO: SUNLIGHT & SHADOWS (2015).  I’m honored by the invitation to  contribute one of my pieces to this just-published collection of short stories and essays by some of the most widely read English language writers in Mexico.

This anthology captures the work of twenty-two published authors who write and live in Mexico full time, and who share a view of life there as seen through their eyes.  Find it for Kindle and other e-readers ONLY here on Amazon.

 

 

THE MIRASOL REDEMPTION (coming soon).  Watch for the August, 2015 release of my second novel, in digital and paperback editions on Amazon.

Mirasol Redemption cover design

Enjoy the read!

 

Ajijic’s mural art

Mexican art is blessed by the rich muralist tradition of Rivera, Orozco, and Siqueiros, and even today murals remain a prominent feature of Mexican public art.

 

Murals are so commonplace in Ajijic as to be taken for granted, but they’re as much a signature part of the village’s character as spring blossoms or street vendors or views from the malecon.

 

 

It’s hard for anyone on the Ribera not to pass at least one daily, and each image indelibly anchors the memory of everything that happens beneath it to a single spot.

 

Murals made perfect sense as a way to present ideas and to perpetuate sense of history throughout Mexico’s illiterate past, but the art form is as fresh today as ever.

 

As similar as some murals may seem at first glance, their form is far from formulaic.

 

The topics may be patriotic or otherwise political, and they’re often historical.

 

Sometimes, though, the primary object seems to be only to create pleasant diversion for the eyes and to adorn an otherwise unmemorable spot.

 

Their forms are remarkably diverse, ranging from dayglo-bright ribbons to simple black-and-white images.

Ajijic mural art 05

Ajijic mural art 06

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some borrow their style from Europe and others are purely indigenous.

 

Some are painted and some in relief.

 

Some have a commercial agenda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many – but not all – are outdoors. The one below adorns the interior stairwell of the Cultural Center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They all, however, have a couple of things in common.

 

One is that each is an original work of art.  Some are permanent – or at least as permanent as paint on stucco can be in the Mexican sun – and others only long-lived enough to commemorate a passing event.

 

Another is that they all tell stories.  Some are short and simple.  Others are like scrolls unrolled, so panoramic that each new look uncovers some detail earlier unseen, like the three panels of the mural below reading left to right.

 

There was a time when billboard painting was an art north of the border. These days billboards are created in Photoshop, digitally printed by the dozens onto vinyl, and stretched over the frames of boards that were once signpainters’ canvasses.

 

One thing’s for sure.  It’s impossible to visualize Ajijic without picturing its public murals! For more about Ajijic’s unique character see my related posts: